Welcome to the ReWild Yourself Podcast! I’m Daniel Vitalis, and I’ll be your guide through the world of human zoology and lifestyle design. We’ll explore the strategies that ancient apes need to thrive in a modern world, awakening our instincts, and freeing our bodies –– and minds –– from the degenerative effects of human domestication.
North America's Forgotten Fruit - Andrew Moore #177
North America’s Forgotten Fruit — the Pawpaw — is an excellent reminder that adventures in wild food are still available to us! Andrew Moore is here to share his journey seeking out the largest edible fruit native to the United States. In Andrew’s book Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit, he explores the past, present, and future of this unique fruit, traveling from the Ozarks to Monticello; canoeing the lower Mississippi in search of wild fruit; drinking pawpaw beer in Durham, North Carolina; tracking down lost cultivars in Appalachian hollers; and helping out during harvest season in a Maryland orchard. Along the way, he gathers pawpaw lore and knowledge not only from the plant breeders and horticulturists working to bring pawpaws into the mainstream (including Neal Peterson, known in pawpaw circles as the fruit’s own “Johnny Pawpawseed”), but also regular folks who remember eating them in the woods as kids, but haven’t had one in over fifty years.
Andrew’s hunt for the wild pawpaw led him on quite the adventure, and in this episode, he gives us the lowdown on the pawpaw, its history and its modern-day revival. We take a look at pawpaw culture and discuss how it’s being cultivated and used today. Andrew certainly inspired me to hunt down the wild pawpaw, and I hope you’ll consider pursuing a wild food adventure of your own in the new year! Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week for the final episode of our podcast season!
EPISODE BREAKDOWN: Show Introduction Introducing Andrew Moore How Andy became acquainted with the pawpaw What is a pawpaw? The history The pawpaw revival Uncovering the mystery of the pawpaw The varying personalities in pawpaw culture Historical cultivation and use of pawpaw Growing pawpaw Origins of the name Hunting the wild pawpaw Where to find Andrew
How Old is Fishing? - Brian Fagan #176
Brian Fagan — one of the world’s leading archaeological writers — is back on the show! Brian was born in England and studied archaeology at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was Keeper of Prehistory at the Livingstone Museum (Zambia) and, during six years in Zambia and one in East Africa, was deeply involved in fieldwork on multidisciplinary African history and in monuments conservation. He was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1967 to 2004, when he became Emeritus. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading archaeological and historical writers and is a widely respected popular lecturer about the past.
In this episode, Brian talks to us about his latest book Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization and shares the fascinating insights he uncovered on the history of fishing. In his research, he found that fishing (for sustenance, not sport) rivaled agriculture in its importance to civilization. We discuss the historical timeline of fishing, early fishing equipment and how fishing became a commodity. Brian also shares his thoughts on the future of wild fisheries and the ocean ecosystem. Enjoy!
EPISODE BREAKDOWN: Show Introduction Introducing Brian Fagan Brian’s prolific writing career A history of fishing Defining fishing - recreational vs subsistence Establishing our timeline Early fishing equipment Fish as a commodity The loss of large-scale fisheries Future of wild fisheries The future of the ocean Will recreational fishing and hunting be a realistic practice in the future? Brian’s prognosis for the future of the human species
Is Wild Food A Privilege? - Arthur Haines #175
Arthur Haines is back on ReWild Yourself Podcast! Arthur is a good friend and our most esteemed frequent guest on the show. Arthur is a forager, ancestral skills mentor, author, public speaker, and botanical researcher. His work merges the material knowledge of present-day people with the ecological knowledge of ancestral people. Arthur’s mission is to help people develop deep awareness of and connection to nature, promote individual health and foster self-reliance. He is a fellow Mainer, and he hunts and gathers from our abundant local landscape to feed himself and his family.
In this episode, Arthur and I share — from the heart — our thoughts on a prominent and relatively recent phenomenon in our modern-day culture: the loss of respect for real-world experience/age-based wisdom and the valuing of modern cultural norms over biological norms. We’re often asked if eating wild food is a privilege, and we share our views on this and the true meaning of privilege. With a shared mission of promoting an egalitarian society that actively participates in ecology, practices ecoculture, fosters personal sovereignty and emboldens thoughtful interaction with fellow Homo sapiens, it is our hope that you listen to our viewpoints with an open mind and keep this conversation going in the ReWilding community!
EPISODE BREAKDOWN: Show Introduction Introducing Arthur Haines Arthur’s background The issues with social media Is wild food a privilege? Real world experience vs. facts The loss of elders and respect for age-based wisdom Biological norms vs present-day cultural norms Privilege and opportunity Personal sovereignty Closing thoughts Context and intent Our hunting and gathering updates
Nature as Your Compass - Tristan Gooley #174
Tristan Gooley returns to ReWild Yourself Podcast to guide us through the lost art of reading nature’s signs. Tristan is an author and natural navigator. He teaches people to re-awaken their senses and tune into their ancestral ability to navigate across a landscape using the signs that nature provides. Tristan has led expeditions in five continents, climbed mountains in Europe, Africa and Asia, sailed small boats across oceans and piloted small aircraft to Africa and the Arctic. He has walked with and studied the methods of the Tuareg, Bedouin and Dayak in some of the remotest regions on Earth. He is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed singlehanded across the Atlantic and is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society.
In this episode, Tristan explains how — once we learn to use nature as a compass — we can create a natural navigation map based in ecological knowledge. We also discuss Tristan’s latest work and the importance of purposeful nature engagement. Tristan gives us practical tips for re-awakening our senses to the natural world and simple techniques for getting started in natural navigation. Tune in, and be inspired to interact with your local landscape in a new and more intimate way!
EPISODE BREAKDOWN: Show Introduction:
Hunt + gather updates: A recent trip to North Carolina and my Thanksgiving meal plan Season 3 of ReWild Yourself Podcast ends soon! Introducing Tristan Gooley Engaging with nature on a cerebral or physical level Simple techniques to dabbling in natural navigations Creating a natural navigation map based in ecology How people navigate around the world What Tristan’s working on now Going into nature with purpose How to inspire people to re-awaken their senses Getting someone started in navigation The future of natural navigation Tristan’s prognosis for the future of the human species
Beyond The War On Invasives - Tao Orion #173
In the final installment of our invasive species series, we hear from Tao Orion — author and permaculturist — for a new perspective on invasives that links restoration with thoughtful habitat design. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Tao has dedicated her life to the art and science of regenerative living. She has a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture and has studied under some of the world’s leading permaculture teachers. She co-owns Resilience Permaculture design with her husband. Tao offers an alternative conversation on invasives with her book, Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Perspective on Ecosystem Restoration. She believes that deep and long-lasting ecological restoration outcomes will come not just from eliminating invasive species, but through conscientious redesign of these production systems.
In this episode, Tao shares how we can look to permaculture to inspire solutions to non-native invasive species and ecosystem restoration. She explains the restoration movement and imparts fundamental ecological knowledge to give context to our on-going invasives conversation. We also discuss ways to have meaningful conversations about invasive species without the divisiveness that can often arise from this controversial topic. Tao leaves us with some excellent strategies to participate in species and land stewardship as foragers with the goal of moving towards regeneration in ecosystems. Enjoy, and let’s keep this conversation going!
EPISODE BREAKDOWN: Show introduction Introducing Tao Orion What ignited Tao’s passion for permaculture The invasive species argument Monsanto’s role in invasive species Glyphosate explained The restoration movement Tending the wild Succession and agricultural disturbances Discussing invasives without the divisiveness Shifting our relationship to land management How do foragers participate in species and land stewardship Tao’s prognosis for the future of the human species
ReWilding Land, People & Wildlife - George Monbiot #171
“Rewilding holds out hope of a richer living planet that can once more fill our lives with wonder and enchantment.” -George Monbiot Prolific author George Monbiot joins us to share his niche in the world of rewilding: rewilding the land. George is an investigative journalist who writes a weekly column for the Guardian and is the author of a number of bestselling books, including Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea, and Human Life where he passionately advocates the large-scale restoration of complex natural ecosystems.
To begin our conversation, George takes us back in time to the riveting adventures that began his career in investigative journalism. We cover a lot of ground in this interview, including how his work evolved to covering the large-scale ecological issues of our world, what rewilding means to George and his take on de-extinction. George also presents his argument in favor of fake meat as an option to feed the world’s population and why he does not feel that agriculture of any kind — including regenerative agriculture — is sustainable. While our opinions differed on some things, it was fascinating to hear George’s viewpoint on these controversial topics. Enjoy our conversation exploring George’s important work as an advocate for the rewilding of our earth’s ecosystems!
Show Introduction: Hunt + gather updates: Learning to live with a hunting dog and bear fat Introducing George Monbiot George’s riveting backstory Why is 'the loss of wild humans' not making news headlines? How George came to be working on these big picture ecological issues What rewilding means to George Bringing back lost megafauna Rewilding becoming mainstream out of necessity A case for fake meat and why (regenerative) agriculture isn’t sustainable How do we feed the people of the world? George’s upcoming book George’s prognosis for the future of the human species